Banana legs key facts:
Botanical name – Solanum lycopersicum
Common name – Banana legs tomato
Family – Solanaceae
Type – fruit vegetable
Height – 6 feet (1.50 m)
Planting distance – 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – cool, healthy, rich, soft
Sowing – March-April
Planting – May
Harvest – July to September
The very productive Banana legs tomato is an ancient heirloom cocktail-type variety. It is most productive at the peak of the summer. Native to South America, it produces small fruits (1½ to 2½ ounces, or 45 to 75 g) which are yellow and rather elongated, growing in clusters of 10 to 20 fruits. This tomato has a soft flesh with a citrus-y taste. It also only sports very few seeds, which makes it perfect for summer tossed salads. Some varieties are more orange in color.
Sowing Banana legs tomatoes
A frost-vulnerable plant, banana legs sowing needs to take place in a warm environment, anytime from March to April, with temperatures of around 68°F (20°C).
- Bury the Banana legs tomato seeds under a quarter-inch (5-7mm) of special seedling soil mix.
- Keep the substrate moist but not drenched, and make sure your seedlings get enough light.
Germination lead times are very short: on average, 7 to 10 days after sowing.
Planting Banana legs tomato
Transplant to the ground once the “last frost date” threshold has passed, generally sometime around mid-May. At this stage, your Banana legs tomato seedlings should be about 5 to 6 inches tall (12 to 15 cm).
- Select a sunny spot to plant them, but that doesn’t get scorching hot later on.
- Decompact the soil, digging out a hole about 3 to 4 times larger than the root ball on your tomato seedlings. Amend the soil that was dug out with very ripe compost.
Space each Banana legs plant by around 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm).
- Once in place, water them at the base and lather the area with a thick layer of mulch.
Growing and care
Not a hardy plant at all, the Banana Legs tomato in our temperate climates is only grown as an annual, like most other types of tomato. Settle it down in non-scorching full sun, in soil that’s preferably light, replete with organic matter, and cool. In cooler regions, best grow this tomato under the cover of a greenhouse.
Mulch at the base of your plants will help keep the soil cool while simultaneously hindering weeds. In case of heat spells, water your plants often. Early morning or evening is best. Water only at the foot of the plant, without getting any leaves wet: this will prevent diseases from appearing.
Diseases and pests
Harvest and keeping
Your Banana Legs tomato fruit harvest spans from July to September, more or less 4 to 5 months after sowing. Harvest the fruits as you need them, when you notice they’re perfectly ripe.
- Your Banana Legs tomato harvest will keep well for a few days in the vegetable compartment of your fridge.
- It’s also possible to simply line them up on a spare portion of the counter. Best is, of course, to eat them immediately after having picked them!
- In order to extend your crop for the following winter months, go ahead and cook the tomatoes: they will keep well in airtight jars and cans.
Read also: How to collect tomato seeds
Cooking with Banana legs tomato
On top of this, this particular tomato does great in all kinds of sauces, and even as a candied fruit.